Radiation Therapy As A Treatment For Cancer

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In 2007, it is predicted that almost 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States (Pickle et al., 2007). More than half of these cancer patients will undergo the use of radiation as a means for treating cancer at some point during the course of their disease (Perez and Brady, 1998). Cancer, a disease caused by an uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells, affects millions of people around the world. Radiotherapy is one of the well known various methods used to treat cancer, where high powered rays are aimed directly at the tumor from the outside of the body as external radiation or an instrument is surgically placed inside the body producing a result of internal radiation. Radiation is delivered to the cancerous regions of the body to damage and destroy the cells in that area, terminating the rapid growth and division of the cells. Radiation therapy has been used by medicine as a treatment for cancer from the beginning of the twentieth century, with its earliest beginnings coming from the discovery of x-rays in 1895 by Wilhelm Röntgen. With the advancements in physics and computer programming, radiation had greatly evolved towards the end of the twentieth century and made the radiation treatment more effective. Radiation therapy is a curative treatment approach for cancer because it is successful in killing cancerous tumor cells and stop them from regenerating.

Radiation therapy treats cancer by killing or slowing down the continuous growth of

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